Stanning and Glover win second Gold in a row

Scots rower and partner create Olympic history on the water at Rio

Heather Stanning and Helen Glover wrote another chapter in Team GB’s Olympic history by becoming the first female rowers to win Gold at consecutive Games.

The pair’s victory on the Opening day of London 2012 was the first Olympic gold for British women’s rowers.

And their successive defence of their title secured Team GB’s first rowing Gold of Rio 2016.

After another display which underlined their dominance in the event, Stanning paid tribute to coach Robin Williams, as the third man in their successful team.

The British pair were in control from start to finish, pulling nearly two seconds clear at the 500m point before extending their lead to four seconds at the half-way 1000m marker.

New Zealand’s Genevieve Behrent and Rebecca Scown closed the gap in the final stretch, but the Britons held on to win in 7:18.29 from the Kiwis’ 7:19.53.

Lossiemouth’s Stanning said: “At the moment we want to enjoy what we’ve done today, take stock of ourselves away from this environment and not make any rash decisions.

“We’ve worked very hard to get this record and to be where we are. We’ve had some fantastic opposition over the years.

“It’s a tough event and you’ve seen while we’ve been in the event, that everyone has put up different pairs and it’s pushed us on.

“Without Robin [Williams], we wouldn’t be the crew we are. He’s 100 per cent the third person in that boat so thank you to him for everything.”

Glover added: “It’s really difficult to put this feeling into words. When you become Olympic champion once, it’s something you feel like you’ve managed to do. You’ve managed to put in the number of races and amount of training you need to win an Olympic title.

“But when you set your sights four years in advance and it’s not managing to do it but to defend your title is something very, very special.

“The first time we did it, it took a long time to realise we were Olympic champions and it was all new to us.

“This time round, we crossed the line and we were 2016 champions and we felt like that straight away.

“It’s that real realisation and I think we both felt it more this time round. This was a bigger feeling than even at a home Games – it’s amazing.

“We feel privileged to be able to do this. It’s a privilege to represent your country, race the best in the world and do it for a living.”

Stewart Harris, sportscotland’s Chief Executive, hailed the stunning result and said: “What a dominant performance right from the start from Heather and Helen to take the women’s pairs title and secure a second rowing gold for Scots on Team GB.

“They went into this competition as the clear favourites having been unbeaten for five years, an enviable record, but one that brings its own pressures.  However, their professionalism and preparation meant that they never looked in doubt and were rewarded with another Olympic medal to add to their gold from London 2012, three world titles, and one European title.  Heather and Helen are history makers, without a doubt.

“In Heather Stanning and Katherine Grainger, who won her fifth Olympic medal yesterday, rowing in Scotland has two exceptional role models to inspire future generations.”